Skip to content

Francisco Liriano’s downward spiral continues

Apr 18, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano turned in his third straight clunker last night against the Yankees, failing to make it out of the third inning. Through three starts he has an 11.91 ERA and .407 opponents’ batting average while throwing 138 strikes and 103 balls.

It’s become increasingly popular to say that Liriano’s struggles are mental and I’m sure there’s plenty of truth to that narrative, but it’s also worth noting that his raw stuff is simply nowhere near as good as it was in 2010, let alone in 2006.

As an unhittable rookie in 2006 his average fastball was 94.7 miles per hour and in his bounceback 2010 season it was 93.7 mph, but since the start of last season it’s 91.6 mph.

It certainly isn’t shocking that a one-time power pitcher would lose confidence as his velocity vanishes and his fastball becomes far more hittable. Perhaps it’s a chicken-or-egg scenario and there’s no doubt that he’s failed to make adjustments, but to suggest that Liriano’s collapse is entirely mental seems way too simplistic. Whatever the case, as an impending free agent the increasingly ugly outings are costing Liriano millions and the Twins must be running out of patience.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    The Yankees were looking to trade for him a while back- I guess it’s lucky they didn’t.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Yeah, Aaron, we’re going to need you to do a rewrite. This article doesn’t mention anything about the Yankees or the AL East, can you tie them in somehow?

      • whatthehellisansky - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        It says Yankees in the first sentence bro.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    His pitching arm is as wacky as Jose Canseco.

  3. racksie - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Jamie Moyer, at 49, never broke 80mph last night. It’s not about the lack of velocity. It’s about the lack of brainpower. The guy won’t listen to advice, and keeps losing. People want to help him. He just doesn’t want to help himself. That’s a mental dynamo.

  4. Detroit Michael - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Given that his velocity was up quite a bit yesterday + his spring training performance, I’m still hoping that Liriano can return to being a good starter this year. Velocity definitely seems like a key for this guy given our velocity and performance seem to move in the same direction during his MLB career.

  5. Cris E - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    The funny thing is, you know the problem is in his hat and not his sleeve because he was hit or miss both before and after his no hitter last year. When he’s on he’s totally awesome, but then there’s all this other pitching he does…

  6. vikesfansteve - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Make him a closer.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      You need to get guys out to be a closer.

  7. oberg435 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    shows signs with that slider coming back. then collapses the next inning.

  8. spudchukar - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    The headline lead me to believe Liriano had developed a new pitch, maybe he should take heed.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Yanks, Cards and Reds hit with injury bug
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gonzalez (2829)
  2. J. Votto (2701)
  3. J. Nelson (2580)
  4. M. Tanaka (2568)
  5. E. Encarnacion (2544)
  1. M. Trumbo (2533)
  2. V. Martinez (2385)
  3. R. Braun (2360)
  4. J. Samardzija (2347)
  5. B. Hamilton (2296)